This article details some really good reasons for kids to do chores, including that it makes them feel valued, gives them appreciation for what goes into running a household and it teaches them important life skills.
My daughter is responsible for her own laundry, and a few recent fails in that area give me another reasons for chores – they can also teach life lessons, to both of us.
Here are a few life lessons from the laundry that apply to life, and to parenting.
1. Different scenarios require different approaches.
Some items are delicate and require more care. Coolness may be required. Other times, heat is effective, but only in certain instances or else it can cause irreparable harm. If you approach all your clothes in exactly the same way, it won’t work well for all of the items. Some will be damaged. Sometimes more care is required.
The same is true of different kids and even the same kid on different days or in different scenarios. Sometimes, a gentle approach is best. Other times, it’s okay to be rough and tumble.
2. Waiting too long to deal with an issue typically makes it harder take care of.
Letting something sit for a week doesn’t serve any positive purpose. Of course, there are sometimes when time and prudence are called for, but by and large, dealing with something right away is best. That’s true of stains, and of problems.
Dealing with messes head-on is more often than not better than ignoring it and hoping it goes away. When things get set in, whether in fabric or in minds, they get harder to deal with it. Don’t put off the unpleasant work – just deal with it.
3. Sunlight can work wonders.
It feels a bit like magic to me when I treat a stain on white fabric, let it sit out in the sunlight and return to find the stain has disappeared. Sunshine is pretty fantastic, and it works wonders on people, not just laundry. Sometimes a little time outdoors in nature is exactly what you need to get rid of some negative or feelings.
4. Take help when you can get it.
I cannot imagine the days when all washing was done by hand and all drying was done by the air. I used to dry my clothes on a line and it was nice, but not speedy. It’s fine when you have all the time in the world, but a clothes dryer is significantly faster and that makes me happy. Just like we take help from machines, we should be afraid to take help from others. It can make life so much more enjoyable.
Just like some laundry jobs need to be outsourced to the dry cleaner, don’t be afraid to ask for help from others.
5. Perfection may be overrated.
My daughter’s favorite shirt is a little worse for wear after a laundry mishap. But she still loves it. It may be out of the rotation for wearing to nice events, but wearing a slightly imperfect shirt around the house is a-okay. The shirt still makes her happy, even if it’s not perfect, and that’s a valuable lesson, too.
6. It’s often not as bad as it first seems.
My daughter gets a bit overwhelmed sometimes by the laundry job when she’s let it go a little too long. But it gets done, and it’s often not as bad as she thought it would be. A lot of things in life look overwhelming at the first glance, but once you dive in and start tackling it, one step at a time, it gets more manageable. And it gets done.
I feel this way about unloading the dishwasher. In my mind, it looms as a large task. When it takes about a grand total of five minutes, I feel sheepish. Not such a big deal. I don’t know why that’s tough to remember that and just do it without dread. I’m going to work on that in 2018, both with the dishwasher and everything else in life.
What lessons have you learned from laundry?
Prior post: Picking my word of the year for 2018
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